Bible Commentaries
Joshua 1

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-18

Joshua by Divine Commission Succeeds Moses

Joshua 1:1 to Joshua 5:12 record the preparations for the Holy War.

1. Now (better, ’and’) after the death of Moses.. it came to pass] These words clearly mark the book which follows as a sequel to Deuteronomy. The book of Judges begins with a precisely similar phrase.

The Lord spake unto Joshua] This formula ’the Lord spake,’ which so constantly recurs in the first books of the Bible, corresponds to the more direct formula of the prophets, ’Thus saith the Lord.’ It is a characteristic feature of the OT., distinguishing the literature of the Hebrews from that of other nations of antiquity, and marking their claim to express in a very special way the will of Almighty God. It is, in fact, one of the most obvious indications of that which we call ’inspiration.’ We may not of course be able, in a given instance, to define the exact mode in which the divine will was communicated. Was it by the Urim and Thummim, or in a dream? Or was it rather an inner conviction borne in upon the soul, voiceless but clear and definite, such as is no uncommon experience with those who are in the habit of communing with God? But the importance of the phrase lies less in any hint of the manner of the revelation than in its testimony to the fact of it. However it came, the thought was recognised as an utterance of God. Minister] Joshua had been Moses’ attendant and right-hand man—his ’chief of staff.’

4. Boundaries S. and SE., ’the wilderness’; N., Lebanon; NE., the Euphrates; W., the Mediterranean or ’Great Sea.’ These, the providential (Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:31), and in some sense natural, boundaries of the territory of Israel, were only attained for a brief period during the reigns of David and Solomon. All the land of the Hittites] see on Genesis 10:15.

8. This book of the law] This obviously refers to the ’law’ described in Deuteronomy 31:9 as written by Moses and delivered to the Levites and elders. That it embraces a considerable nucleus of the Pentateuchal legislation (ineluding, of course, the bulk of Exodus 20-23) few critics would deny.

11. Prepare you victuals] Joshua has the general’s eye for the commissariat.

12f. See Numbers 32:20-32 for Moses’ injunction to the two and a half tribes, and their promise to obey.

14, 15. On this side Jordan] In both places RV rightly translates ’beyond Jordan,’ i.e. on the E. side of Jordan. A little point, but important as showing that the writer (or editor) of this passage was one who resided W. of Jordan.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Joshua 1". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.